Many people think that a urinary tract infection (UTI) is the cause of incontinence. But UTIs do not cause incontinence. A UTI is usually caused by a bacterium called E. coli. Still, incontinence can be caused by other bacterial or viral infections in your urinary tract as well as benign tumours. An infection in your bladder or urethra can cause incontinence. But this is not the only cause. An infection alone will not cause incontinence. It would take increased pressure in the urethra and/or bladder to push urine out. So an infection alone cannot explain incontinence. It is not enough to have a condition: a UTI, often discussed elsewhere on the website. A urinary tract condition, such as a tumour (e.g., neuroblastic tumour), benign tumour, or benign growth (e.g., fibroids), can also be the cause of your incontinence as well as infection (i.e. if the tumour or growth is causing the increased pressure). Any condition that causes increased pressure in your urethra and bladder can lead to incontinence, no matter how it was generated. Bladder or urethral surgery and radiation therapy can also cause incontinence. So can damage nerve pathways from other causes, such as spinal cord injury. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are usually caused by bacteria that get into the urinary tract from your vagina and then into your bladder or urethra – these bacteria may have travelled there from your anus. An infection in the lower urinary tract often produces painful or difficult urination (incontinence). But incontinence does not result from a UTI alone. So if you have a UTI, it is not the cause of your incontinence. The following are some of the conditions that can cause urinary tract infections: Diabetes In men, an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy) or an organ prolapse (e.g., uterus) or bladder prolapse in women. An enlarged prostate gland can block the urethra and make urination difficult, even if no infections are involved. Incontinence is sometimes treated with antibiotics, particularly for a UTI (but if a tumour or growth causes the infection, then antibiotics are unlikely to help). But your doctor will try to determine the cause of your incontinence if you complain about it. Because inflammation resulting from infection can worsen incontinence, you may be advised to stop smoking (to reduce inflammation in the body). Your doctor may also advise you to drink more fluids. If a benign tumour causes your incontinence, you may be treated with surgery to remove the tumour. But you will need to be careful because surgery can result in a false positive on urine tests for pregnancy, which may lead you and your doctor to believe that you are pregnant when you are not (when there are no real problems). So this type of incontinence would not explain why an ultrasound shows no pregnancy. To determine whether an increase in pressure within the urinary tract is causing your incontinence. Your doctor can do this using an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to take pictures of the inside of your urinary tract. This type of test would be used if you had a regular UTI that has not stopped. A sensitive urine pregnancy test may also be done to determine whether you are pregnant, although a false positive can occur with such difficulties. But if your incontinence is caused by a non-infectious condition (e.g., a tumour), we would need more information and consult a specialist on this subject.